Kings Canyon

Trip Start Jul 07, 2011
Trip End Oct 10, 2011

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Where I stayed
What I did
Walk the canyon rim

Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Thursday, July 14, 2011

We'd travelled from Yulara to King’s Canyon in convoy again, with Leesa & Neil up front and us at the rear sandwiching Elaine. Nothing much to report for our journey except the kangaroo that decided to hop between the front two cars, and the impressive floodway, that was filled with muddy brown water which cascaded all over the car and caravan as we went through it too fast!  The windscreen wipers work!

It’s amazing, but after 5 days travelling with the Sparks family we still hadn’t really caught up.  The days had been filled with travelling and sight seeing, the nights with meals and showers.  Kings Canyon was a chance to sit around (dry out) and catch up – the Wild Turkey Honey Liqueur, wine, Gin and dips/nuts helped! 

All over the campsite are signs warning about the wildlife – especially the dingos.  Gates on the amenities block are there to keep them out, but surely with that number of people around they’re not going to come close.  Wrong!  Sitting and sipping, a dingo walked right through the middle of the caravans bold as brass – closely chased by Neil trying to get a photo.  We let him go because we were all watching the tiny field mice scurrying around trying to find homes in our shoes as they bedded in for the night.  Mmm – electric blankets!

King’s Canyon provides walks for all; from the gentle King’s Creek walk up the gorge that Megan and Caitlyn took, to the more challenging 6km Canyon Rim walk that Chris and Matthew went on – which Caitlyn wouldn’t have made and where Mum & Dad would have been petrified every minute waiting for her to fall down some chasm or cliff.

We got to the base of the canyon at about 10am – still no sun, but with the amount of walking ahead the temperature was excellent.

The King’s Creek walk weaves its way up the creek through numerous sheltered pockets where the King River has deposited hundreds of car size boulders that have fallen from the canyon walls above.  When in full flow, it must be a truly impressive site – the wide floor flowing with water across the rocks and through the tree studded scenery.

The Canyon Rim walk starts with a 1-in-1 500 step rock climb – that the locals call Heartbreak Hill – more like Heart Attack Hill.  "Mountain Goat" Matthew started sprinting up the slope waving to Mum & Caitlyn at the bottom and Dad slightly behind – and we split ways.  There’s an impressive view from the top back over the King River and parking area and we waved good by to the girls way below and continued across plateaus and ridges, that were once part of an ancient seabed, to cliffs with huge vertical drop-offs and wind swept lookouts.  Fantastic - I’ll let the pictures tell the tale, although they don’t do the majesty true justice.

At the top of the canyon, a set of very steep stairs descend from the rim to The Garden of Eden – a lush tropical waterhole surrounded by crimson walls and lined with palm trees, ferns and razor sharp vegetation.

Across the other side, Neil stood out – dressed in his bright yellow mac waving and taking photos.  They’d left for the walk earlier – thinking that we were doing it in the afternoon, and wanting to get a head start for 'little’ Josh.  While Matthew and I had managed to catch up, Josh was no slowcoach.

Unknown to me (as I took photos at the base of the Garden of Eden), Matthew decided to go and tag along with Team Sparks, so when I looked round, he was nowhere to be seen.

With so many cliffs and crevices, and me at the bottom of the gorge, he needed to be found – which I did eventually as I spotted him at the top of a waterfall over the waterhole looking down at the canyon bottom!

After a few upsetting minutes, we were reunited and had lunch at the waterhole looking back up to Matthew’s Lookout.

We’d been in (cheap walkie-talkie) radio contact with Megan from Cotterill's Lookout earlier and knew that she was busy ‘entertaining’ Caitlyn while we walked he rim.  So we cracked on.  Up the stairs on the opposing canyon wall, back to the seabed above(!) and on to the even more vertigo inducing canyon walls.

Our minor “Matthew loosing” delay meant that the Neil’s yellow peril coat was long gone by the time we reached the return point for a round trip time of 2 hours, but Megan was glad to see us – there’s only so much time you can spend on a “Flower walk” entertaining a 4 year old.

Because King’s Canyon resort was close by, we nipped back for a spot of lunch and then out to Kathleen Creek to see a different gorge – after King’s it was a bit of a letdown, so the crew piled back to the park to play & do jobs while Chris went back to Kings to do the base trail and task (yet) more photos.

The team slept well again – as the tarps dried out some more…
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Grandma on

Excellant reading
Keep safe Matthew !!

Stacy on

The photos are absolutely stunning - wish I was there x

Dave R on

To those that have not been to the Northern Territory - take the time to go - I agree with Chris, magnificent!!!

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